The Tower of London is the city’s most iconic historic castle, fortress, and infamous prison. Get up close to the Crown Jewels, meet the legendary Tower wardens and more when visiting this unique London landmark.

What’s in this guide?

How to get to the Tower of London

Wondering how to get to the Tower of London? Thanks to the city’s web of public transport – including trains, buses, and an underground system (tube) – reaching the Tower couldn’t be more accessible.

If you want to take a National Rail service to the Tower of London, the nearest train station is London Bridge. From there, it’s a short 16-minute walk to the landmark. London Bridge train station is served by Southeastern and Thameslink routes from Peterborough, Epsom, and Dartford.

If you’d prefer to take the tube to the Tower of London, just hop on a District (green) or Circle (yellow) line train to Tower Hill, which is right on the Tower’s doorstep.

What to see at the Tower of London

There are lots of exciting things to see at the Tower of London; plan to spend an entire morning or afternoon there to make the most of your visit.

The Crown Jewels

The world-famous Crown Jewels are a dazzling highlight of any Tower of London tour. See the collection of 23,578 gemstones up close – they’re under armed guard, only removed from the Tower when needed for a royal ceremony.

The Crown Jewels have been stored and displayed safely at the Tower since 1661. Previous kings and queens of England have kept their jewels and other precious ceremonial items at the Tower of London for over 600 years. They remain a powerful symbol of the British monarchy today; whenever it’s time for the next monarch to take the throne, the Jewels will be taken to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony.

St Edward’s Crown is the most significant and sacred part of the Crown Jewels, only used at the moment of crowning a new king or queen. The collection also includes the Sovereign’s Orb and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, topped with the world’s largest, best-quality white cut diamond.

The Prince of Wales’s Investiture Coronet is also on display alongside the Crown Jewels. It’s made from gold and platinum, set with diamonds and emeralds and finished with purple velvet.

ravens perching over tower of london

The Ravens

You can’t visit the Tower of London without seeing its legendary guardians, the Ravens. Six resident Ravens have lived at the Tower of London since King Charles II was on the throne. It’s thought that Charles insisted they protect the Tower after being warned that the Crown and Kingdom would fall if they left.

Today, nine Ravens are roaming the Tower, all cared for by the Ravenmaster. Look out for these famous birds when you visit – but don’t get too close or try to feed them!

Wondering why the Ravens hang around? They aren’t made to stay at the Tower, but their feathers are carefully trimmed to discourage long flights away. They’re also given a tasty diet of meat and biscuits and have a comfortable enclosure to nestle down in.

Yeoman Warder Tours

If you want to make the most of your time at the Tower of London, be sure to take a guided tour with a Yeoman Warder. Also known as Beefeaters, the Tower’s Yeoman Warders have been symbols of England since the 1400s. Their nickname comes from their position in Henry VII’s Royal Bodyguard; Henry’s guard was allowed to eat as much beef as they wanted from the King’s table!

Yeoman Warders have served in the armed forces for at least 22 years, reached the rank of warrant officer and been awarded the long service and good conduct medal.

These tours run every 30 minutes from 10:00, with the final one of the day starting at 14:30. They’re included in your regular Tower of London admission ticket, so be sure to join in to enjoy your experience to the fullest. Learn about the Tower’s significance as a palace, prison, and fortress.

Stories about executions, torture and imprisonment can be a bit scary for young children, so check with a Beefeater before joining if you have little ones to think about.

Tower of London history and facts

The Tower of London has played a central part in London’s story for almost 1,000 years.

William the Conqueror

It all started in the 1070s when William the Conqueror built a stone tower in the middle of his fortress. The new fort was built to protect William’s recent claim to power and show off his strength to defeated Londoners; nothing of the kind had ever been seen in England before!

white tower of tower of london

Changes through the years

Henry III and Edward I expanded and changed William’s fortress during their reigns, adding enormous defensive walls and expanding the moat. Henry III painted the Tower of London’s Great Keep white, making it the White Tower we know today.

The kings also made the Tower of London England’s largest concentric castle, which means one ring of defences built inside another. Magnificent royal rooms provided comfort and security for the monarchs inside the walls; kings and queens used the Tower to protect themselves.

The Tower Mint

The Tower of London also controlled all the nation’s money from the reign of Edward I until 1810. During this time, all coins were made in the Tower Mint. It’s also where royals kept their priceless possessions – the Crown Jewels are held at the Tower, protected by a garrison of soldiers to this day.

The Tower’s darker side

The Tower of London is also an infamous prison and the site of many deaths. One of the most famous is Henry VI, who was murdered during the War of the Roses in 1471.

In 1483, his rival Edward IV’s sons vanished from inside its walls. In 1674, two skeletons were discovered in the Tower and reburied in Westminster Abbey. It isn’t confirmed that these were the missing princes, but we know they were of two boys the same age as Edward’s lost sons.

Anne Boleyn

Once, there was a magnificent royal palace inside the Tower walls, which Henry VIII made beautiful in 1533 for his new bride, Anne Boleyn. Henry and Anne feasted in the rooms the night before the new queen’s coronation; she marched triumphantly through London the following morning for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Three years later, Anne returned to the Tower under different circumstances. She was accused of adultery and treason and held in the same luxurious rooms prepared for her coronation years before. Anne was never released and was executed on Tower Green for her alleged crimes.

Restaurants, bars, and shops at the Tower of London

It’s easy to spend an entire morning or afternoon at the Tower of London, which means you might need a short break to gather your energy. Good news! There are a couple of options inside the Tower walls.

Tower cafés

The New Armories Café is open from 10:00 to 16:00, serving hot meals like fish and chips, soups, and toasted sandwiches. There’s also a cold selection for a quick refuel, including salads, cakes, and pastries, tea and coffee, of course, and a children’s menu for any little ones in your group. There’s also a kiosk selling hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, and cakes which you can eat overlooking the Thames.

Tower of London shops

If you want to pick up a souvenir of your trip, you’re in luck – the Tower is home to six shops! The Tower of London Shop is the largest, selling many unique gifts, books, jewellery, and toys. It’s right next to the Tower of London entrance, and you don’t need a ticket to go inside. There’s also the White Tower Shop, inspired by the ancient White Tower and the treasures inside. If you’re visiting with kids, head to the Ravens Shop, open on weekends, to browse many children’s items, including dress-up costumes for little kings, queens, princesses, and knights!

Tower of London opening hours and ticket prices

It’s a good idea to pre-book your Tower of London ticket online before you get there, although you can also buy them from the ticket office on the day. A Tower ticket gets you entry to the Crown Jewels and White Tower. You’ll also be able to see the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London Battlements, Medieval Palace, and the Bloody Tower. Not to mention the Torture at the Tower exhibition, the Fusiliers Museum, and the Royal Mint exhibition. Lots to see!

Ticket prices


Peak (Friday to Sunday and School Holidays)

Off-peak (all other times)




Adults (18 to 64)



Children (5 to 15)



Concession (65+, 16 to 17, full-time student or disabled)



Family Saver 1 (1 adult & up to 3 children)



Family Saver 2 (2 adults & up to 3 children)



Children under 5

No ticket required

No ticket required


Prices correct as of February 2022

Opening hours

Tower of London opening times change depending on the day and time of year you visit.

  • Summer (March to September): 09:00 to 17:30 Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 to 17:30 Sunday and Monday
  • Winter (October to February): 09:00 or 10:00 to 16:30 – check your chosen day in advance

Taking the train to London?

You can easily reach London by train from within the UK, as well as other major European cities, thanks to the many high-speed rail connections available.

If you're already in the UK and heading into London, you can get from Edinburgh to London in 4h, from Manchester to London in 2h 3m, from Glasgow to London in 4h 28m and from Liverpool to London in m. Some of the most popular international routes include Paris to London (2h 17m), Brussels to London (2h 1m) and Amsterdam to London (4h 42m).

Need more information about travelling to London by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to London.